Valley Farmers Markets

Farmers MarketFarmers markets showcase the bounty afforded us by Arizona farmers, growers and artisans. Lucky us, we have such beautiful winter and spring weather to enjoy the outdoor markets, one of the many reasons we love living here!

Farmers Market at the Mercado
Abby Lee Farms, Blue Sky Organic Farms, Relish This, Sun Valley Bees honey and Big Red’s hot sauce are among the vendors you’ll likely find at this farmers market at the Mercado del Lago shopping center at McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale.
Details: Sundays from 9:30am-1:30pm November-February, and 9am- 1 pm March-May. Mercado del Lago, 8300 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale. arizonacommunityfarmersmarkets.com

Fountain Hills Farmers Market
Beef steaks, hard-to-find seasonings from Go Lb. Salt, jam from Grandma Patti’s Kitchen and gourmet popcorn from Gypsy Jane’s are just a few of the things you’ll find at this weekly festival in Fountain Hills. Eat while you shop and visit vendors making grilled cheese and other dishes.
Details: Thursdays from 11am-5pm October-mid April. 16858 Avenue of the Fountains, Fountain Hills. experiencefountainhills.com

Scottsdale Arizona Farmers Market
This market in Old Town Scottsdale has evolved into a weekly food festival, with demonstrations to show you how to prepare things farmers are selling. You’ll find dozens of farmers, ranchers and vendors selling coffee, vegan desserts, cheese, crostini, pasta, candy, tamales, soups, wild-caught Alaskan seafood, hummus, tomatoes, spicy pickles, grass-fed lamb, microgreens, frozen entrees, bread and more.
Details: Saturdays from 8am-1pm October-May. 3806 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale. arizonafarmersmarkets.com

Arizona Community Farmers Market
The state’s oldest farmers market offers one of the largest selections of produce, along with fresh chickens and grass-fed lamb. Dozens of vendors sell specialty foods, including cupcakes, jam, jerky, chili pies, wild salmon, tamales, green-chile stew and tortilla soup. The location is at a park with a playground, fishing pond, ducks and geese.
Details: Saturdays from 8am-1pm October-May, and 7-11am June-September. 3502 E. Cactus Road, Phoenix. arizonacommunityfarmersmarkets.com

Barrett-Jackson 2019

Do not miss the 48th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction at Westworld Scottsdale January 12-20th. While driving through McDowell Mountain Ranch this week, you may notice the many historical and luxury cars in town for the auction, and it’s hard not to notice the big white tents as you are driving by the 101 and Frank Lloyd Wright. I’m always amazed to think under the tents is millions of dollars in auto sales every January.

Barrett-Jackson was established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale. They are recognized for offering only the finest selection of quality collector vehicles, outstanding professional service and unrivaled sale success.

More than 1,800 cars and 1,600 car collector items will be on display for all to enjoy! Even if you’re not a car fanatic, there is plenty to do with more than 200 exhibitors and over 70 food vendor locations offering a wide variety of dining options. There will also be interactive exhibits from over 100 sponsors, and don’t forget the people watching! Visit Barrett-Jackson to view schedule of events, tickets and family day information.

Free Summer Activities in Phoenix

got water signSummer is around the corner and there’s always something happening in Phoenix to keep you busy! One of the great things about our region is the variety of outdoor activities that are mainly free and are great if you’re on a budget. 

We’ve rounded up our favorite free activities to take advantage of this summer. 

Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Center

With miles of hiking trails and a variety of views, this somewhat challenging trail is great for hiking-enthusiast looking for a summer adventure.  It’s best to go early, right after sunrise.  Don’t forget to bring LOTS of water, sunscreen and a hat.

Phoenix Art Museum 

You might not know that one of Phoenix’s most popular cultural attractions is free every Wednesday evening, from 3-9 p.m. Stop by and check out the latest exhibit and get your fill of art history. 

Mesa Arts Center

This 212,000-square foot arts center is one of the largest in the state, and free to attend. They host performances, have art galleries and offer one of a kind installations. While performances cost money, walk around the area and check out the art gallery!

Arizona Capital Museum

For the history buff, take a trip to the Arizona Capital Museum to get a picture of Arizona’s early statehood. World War II buffs can browse a USS Arizona display and see artifacts specifically curated from Arizona in WWII. 

Smith Mountain Park 

In the largest municipal park in the world, these crisscrossing trails offer a spectacular view from Dobbins Lookout Point at 1,200 feet. From there, check out Happy Valley and go through Spring Mountain Park.

Apache Trail

Looking for a road trip in your own backyard? Check out Apache Trail. One of the most scenic drives in Arizona, it features scenic stops and great desert life along the way. Don’t forget to check out Goldfields Ghost Town for a spooky tour in Arizona’s gold rush land. 

Free Summer Activities Around The Valley

Summer is around the corner and there’s always something happening in Phoenix to keep you busy! One of the great things about our region is the variety of outdoor activities that are mainly free and are great if you’re on a budget. 

We’ve rounded up our favorite free activities to take advantage of this summer. 

Camelback mountain photoCamelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Center

With miles of hiking trails and a variety of views, this somewhat challenging trail is great for hiking-enthusiast looking for a summer adventure.

Phoenix Art Museum 

You might not know that one of Phoenix’s most popular cultural attractions is free every Wednesday evening, from 3-9 p.m. Stop by and check out the latest exhibit and get your fill of art history. 

Mesa Arts Center

This 212,000-square foot arts center is one of the largest in the state, and free to attend. They host performances, have art galleries and offer one of a kind installations. While performances cost money, walk around the area and check out the art gallery!

Arizona Capital Museum

For the history buff, take a trip to the Arizona Capital Museum to get a picture of Arizona’s early statehood. World War II buffs can browse a USS Arizona display and see artifacts specifically curated from Arizona in WWII. 

Smith Mountain Park 

In the largest municipal park in the world, these crisscrossing trails offer a spectacular view from Dobbins Lookout Point at 1,200 feet. From there, check out Happy Valley and go through Spring Mountain Park.

Apache Trail

Looking for a road trip in your own backyard? Check out Apache Trail. One of the most scenic drives in Arizona, it features scenic stops and great desert life along the way. Don’t forget to check out Goldfields Ghost Town for a spooky tour in Arizona’s gold rush land. 

Popular Summer Camp Options In The Valley

With summer on the horizon, it’s time for the kids to go to summer camp. Studies show that children who attend summer camp are more socially adjusted and generally have more positive relationships with peers. 

If you’re looking for places in the East Valley to send the kids this summer, look no further than some of our favorite locations. 

Cactus Day Camp

With over 20 activities to keep your children busy, Cactus Day Camp is a great option for adventurous kids between the ages of 3-13. With sessions in archery, swimming, climbing and crafting, there’s something for everyone! This Paradise camp runs from early June through July. 

Audobon Arizona

Do you have a nature-obsessed kid eager to spend their time outside? Audobon Arizona is a science-based camp that offers attendees the opportunity to hike, learn geocaching and learn more about astrology and nature. With an overnight option, Audobon Arizona is a great hybrid option for locals looking for a sleep-away camp feel. 

School of Rock

If music is more up your child’s alley, then the School of Rock is perfect. School of Rock in Scottsdale offers classes for beginners to the seasoned musician. Aside from instrument lessons, the day camp also offers singing and songwriting classes and vocal lessons.

Phoenix Zoo

For the animal-lovers, the Phoenix Zoo offers a hands-on summer camp for children grades K-8. This fun camp allows attendees to hike, get up close and personal with the zoo animals and learn more about caring for animals. Located in Phoenix, the class offers extended hours and scholarships for families in need. 

Friendly Pines Camp

Located North of Phoenix in Prescott, Friendly Pines Camp offers the quintessential overnight summer camp experience. Jam packed with activities, the camp has everything you can imagine, including horseback riding, photography classes, dance, climbing, canoeing and kayaking. 

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Where to Find Live Music Venues in Scottsdale

From outdoor festivals to local honkytonks, Scottsdale has something for everyone when it comes to enjoying live music. From blues-y piano bars to country music throw downs, here are some of our favorite options for local music in Scottsdale.

guitar photoCenter Stage Bar

Located in the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort, Center Stage Bar provides the perfect romantic setting for a live music experience. Set amongst rippling fountains and outdoor fire pits, Center Stage has a variety of nightly entertainment ranging from acoustic musicians to soulful jazz.

Musical Instrument Museum

Not only can you view over 6,800 instruments collected from around the world, the Musical Instrument Museum in North Phoenix is just a short drive from Downtown Scottsdale and boasts live music several times a month. From classical music to world-renowned global artists, the intimate 300-person theatre is great for a variety of performances.

Talking Stick Resort

If you’re looking for more national headlines, check out the Talking Stick Resort. With a 650-person Showroom, and 1,600-seat Salt River Grand Ballroom, the Talking Stick has featured major national acts like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Whitesnake.

Handlebar J Restaurant and Saloon

Looking for something a little more country? The Handlebar J Restaurant and Saloon located in Sundown Plaza feels like an old-timey saloon with cowboy hats and nightly country music. Founded in the 1960’s, this local watering hole used to have patrons like Waylon Jennings show up on horseback. Featuring an enormous dancefloor, make sure to bring your dancing shoes if you attend a show at Handlebar J.

Rhythm Room

Located off of Route 51, Rhythm Room provides a soulful escape featuring roots, blues and other various concerts. It’s been around since the early 90’s, and hosts local and national acts on a nightly basis. From jazzy quartets to alternative rock bands, Rhythm Room has the feel of a jazz club with a dive-bar twist.

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Scottsdale Culinary Festival 

food festival photoA local favorite, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival is back next weekend, attracting more than 30,000 people from around the region to enjoy the sights, sounds and taste of Scottsdale’s local culinary scene. The annual event featuring over 40 local restaurants, bands, a cooking challenge and more will take place April 14-15th at the Scottsdale Civic Center.

Sponsored by the Cocktail Society, this year’s event is expected to draw major crowds as it celebrates a major milestone of 40 years. The Local Lounge, presented this year by Hensley Beverage Co., will showcase local wineries, craft beer and spirits from around the state. Additionally, a beer garden will feature more than 30 Arizona breweries and over 250 beers on tap.

After eating and drinking the local fare, make sure to hop over to the four performance stages that will be featuring a variety of bands and musicians. This year’s headliner is the rock band Everclear, performing on Saturday night. Also, 90’s Pop Band Eve 6 will open for Everclear.

Don’t forget that all the proceeds benefit local nonprofit Scottsdale League for the Arts. Founded in 1992, the SLA provides grants and funding for local artists, art programs and art education through special events like the Culinary Festival and other fundraising efforts.

This family-fun event is the perfect opportunity to try different Scottsdale restaurants and discover the great local flavors. Kids can enjoy face painting, bouncy houses and fun performers like magicians.

With a variety of cuisines, there’s something for everyone at this year’s festival. The festival will be broken up into different passport sections, including the European Plaza, American Square, Latin Hill, Asian Village and Sweet Street.

Tickets are still on sale and can be purchase up until the day of the festival! It’s one of our favorite local events, and is a great opportunity to support local restaurants, all while benefiting a great cause.

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Noteworthy Wineries around the Valley

wine glass photoMany of us enjoy to relax and unwind with a glass of wine and good company. You may not realize it, but Scottsdale is also a hub for wine, with the Senoita, Wilcox and Verde Valleys in our backyard. Dating back to the 1970’s, the areas local vineyards have made a name for themselves as a wine destination, with local tours offered throughout the year.

Check out these well-known Arizona vineyards for the best wine the state has to offer.

Granite Creek Vineyards

Nestled in the Chino Valley, Granite Creek Vineyards is family owned and operated, and was the first winery in Arizona to be certified as organic. This is a big accomplishment, as it required 100 percent of the grapes to come from an organically certified vineyard that is tested and audited. While the vineyard is a bit isolated, it’s location and weather is perfect for producing grapes.

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards

Started in 2007, Arizona Stronghold Vineyard has helped put Arizona wines on the map, winning numerous awards and recognition at tasting competitions. The vineyard, located in Graham County, boasts several wines on a seasonal basis, with their tasting room offering a quirky but fun environment.

Charron Vineyards and Winery

Located just 30 minutes from downtown Tucson, Charron Vineyards is a bit more of a drive, but is a great option for a weekend getaway. Situated in the foothills of the Stan Rita Mountains, it offers some of the oldest vines in Arizona. It’s most known for its White Merlot, which has sold out every year since it won the 2000 Governor’s Choice Award.

Windmill Winery

Built on the foundation of an old brickyard, Windmill Winery is a gorgeous nursery, turned vineyard. Founded in 2001, the quaint winery offers a shabby chic feel with a handful of wines for visitors to try in their local tasting room. And it’s just over an hour away from Scottsdale!

Su Vino Winery

While not an actual vineyard, Su Vino Winery is one of the most well-known tasting rooms, located in Scottsdale’s Arts District. The main Su Vino Winery is in Texas, but the Scottsdale location is its second storefront. With dozens of wines by the glass, including some on tap, Su Vino is a great local option if you’re not in the mood to drive to the winery.

There are many more wonderful wine bars in the valley including the Cave Creek and Carefree area. Many offer happy hour and other weekday specials.  Click here to learn about Scottsdale Homes & Neighborhoods.

Noteworthy Happy Hour Places in Scottsdale

happy hour photoNorth Scottsdale is a place for having good leisure time. It is widely known to have some of the finest golf courses which attract numerous people across the planet. However, beyond the golf courses and the beautiful landscape and real estate scene, North Scottsdale also has a long list of wonderful locations where you can visit together with your friends and co-workers. These locations, called happy hour places, offer drinks, meals, and other shopping and leisure activities at very good prices within a stipulated period of time. To help you grab seats with ease, we have compiled the best happy hour places in North Scottsdale. Check them out and visit when you can.

  1. Market Street Kitchen

Located in the DC Ranch area, Market Street Kitchen offers happy hour every day for a period between 4-6pm. Here, their happy hour specialties include grilled fish tacos, summer melon salad dressed in a sweet tea, grilled chile pork stew, and more. The regular prices for these meals could range from $8 to $14. However, during happy hour, these prices are slashed by half. They also have drinks which range from Three Olives flavors to craft beers at $5.

  1. Sapporo Scottsdale

Sapporo Scottsdale is located in Southern Kierland, with happy hour offerings running from 3pm to 7pm on weekdays. On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, happy hour is slated for 10pm-close. More interestingly, Sapporo Scottsdale offers happy hour specials throughout the summer – every day during the summer. Beverages could start from $5 while wines have a price range of $5-$12 including pineapple martini, ginger bourbon lemonade, and more. The available specials are beef sliders, hoisin bbq ribs, tuna lettuce wrap, et cetera.

  1. Armitage Bistro

Armitage Bistro can be found at DC Ranch. At Armitage Bistro, they offer happy hour every day of the week starting from 4pm to 7pm. The offers include spirits, martinis, wine, and food such as Armitage fries, Margherita flatbread, grilled artichoke, and toasted ravioli. They take $1 off drinks and beers, and the wine offering ranges from $5-$14.

  1. North Italian Farmhouse

The North Italian Farmhouse is also located in Kierland. Unlike most happy hour locations, North Italian Farmhouse run their happy hour specials every hour of the day on Sundays. On Mondays to Fridays, happy hour specials are available between the hours of 3pm-6pm. The eats include chef’s board, salads, Zucca chips, chef’s pizza of the day, and spiced nuts. Drinks include sangria, beer and well drinks which could cost from $2-$5.

  1. Twisted Rose Winery

Located off Northsight, Twisted Rose Winery has similar happy hour schedule as North Italian Farmhouse, but it is more organized and entertaining. Happy hour specials are available at Twisted Rose Winery from 3pm-6pm Mondays to Fridays. The Twisted Rose Winery menus combine handcrafted wines, martinis, and beers with twisted up dishes that give a wine focus. They have daily offerings from Mondays to Fridays which implies that specific specials are available on specific days. For instance, on Wineastic Wednesday, all bottles of wine become available at half the original the price; TGIF Friday is entertainment-focused with wine-tins of $7 and lots more.

  1. Brio Tuscan Grille

Brio Tuscan Grille is located around Scottsdale Quarter with happy hour offers that last Monday to Friday between 3pm-6:30pm. Brio Tuscan Grille is more flexible than other locations in its happy hour specials as it also becomes available in the bar on Mondays to Thursdays by 9pm-close. For a tasty treat, you will have to start with $3.95 for eats such as Brio burger, Tuscan tasters, and Pepperoni Flatbread.  Drink specials for sangria, cosmos, mojitos, and more start at $5.

 

Conclusion

North Scottsdale is a place where you can easily find top restaurants serving really delicious meals at good prices. During their happy hours though, you just won’t want to miss out because of the varieties of meals and drinks plus the discounts and unbelievable low prices they come with. The next time you are thinking of a good happy hour location in North Scottsdale, just scroll through this article, visit anyone of your choice, and let us know what you think.

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Best Golf Courses in Scottdale 

golf photo

With more than three hundred and thirty days of sunshine each year, Scottsdale certainly provides the best weather for a fun recreational golf game. If you are a golf lover already living in Scottdale, you are probably familiar with some, or all of the golf courses. While playing golf, one thing all of us want is to have as much fun as possible, even professional players can attest to this simple truth.  But, you cannot have a fun game on a bad course – that will only frustrate you.  Also, how can you enjoy a good golf game on a course where you have to spend more than half of the time of play looking for your balls or your opponent’s? That will rub off all the fun from the game. These golf courses listed here gives you enough room to hit your ball and find it easily off the tee. This makes the game more interesting and fun. Remember the aim is to have as much fun as possible!

The following courses are some of the more popular golf courses in Scottdale but that’s just our opinion, we’ll like to hear yours especially if you’ve ever played in a golf course in Scottdale.

1. Troon North ($189-$249)
Troon North is one of the courses in Scottdale. This public course is made up of two courses – Pinnacle Peak course and Monument course. The Pinnacle Peak course is set at the base of a Pinnacle while the Monument course which is considered the better of the two is named after the Monument under the third hole. The Troon North golf course has 36 holes, all designed in desert style by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morris. Both courses provide spectacular views and with tees placed high above fairways. The course also have a few carries and good vistas from the tees making it easier for balls to be found. The Troon North also provides extensive practice facilities, so if you will like a little warm-up before the actual game, you can do so with ease.

2. TPC Scottdale ($108-$299)
The newly renovated TPC’s Champion Stadium and Stadium Course at TPC Scottdale is a course everyone should at least visit once in a while. With great Clubhouses, golf instructions, PGA tour level golf and lots of practice equipment, TPC Scottdale is more than just a golf course, it’s a whole new experience. What’s even more exciting about this course is the finishing stretch which includes two risk-reward holes – one over water (the par-5 15th) and the other drivable (par-4 17th), making every game as dramatic as possible.

3. Camelback Golf Club ($100-$200)

The Camelback golf course features two courses – the Padre course and Ambiente course both of which were recently renovated by Jack Snyder, Hurdzan Fry Environmental Golf Course Design. The renovation have made the courses more Eco-friendly, which is one of the major aim of the renovation in addition to improving the course layout, making it easier for players to keep up with their games. The course features rolling terrains, undulating fairways and cutting drop in elevation. There are no forced carried in any of the courses making it friendly almost every golfers especially beginners.

4. Grayhawk Golf Club 

Grayhawk Golf Club features two great desert courses – the Raptor Course and Grayhawk’s Talon Course. The Raptor course seen as the better of the two courses was designed by Tom Fazio and has been used to host major PGA tour events. The Grayhawk’s Talon Course was designed by David Graham and Gary Panks and features the par-3 17th and the drivable par-4 13th.

Scottsdale provides you with the best clear whether any golfer will ever hope for to play in. So, if you’re planning on visiting Scottsdale or even already in town, don’t miss this opportunity to play in some of the best golf courses in the country.

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